Cavs Dominate Celtics To Advance To NBA Finals
At least they stole one game.
That will be the sentiment shared among Boston Celtics fans, Friday, after they shake off the fact that their team was hammered at home for the third straight time by the Cleveland Cavaliers, in their 135-102, Game 5 loss.
There's just not much more to say, except that for the third time in three tries at the TD Garden the Cavs absolutely crushed the Celtics.
Here's a mind-boggling stat to chew. In three Eastern Conference Finals home games, which totals 144 minutes of play, the Celtics NEVER held the lead.
Yes, that is accurate. Not for a single second, did the C's have the lead in three games, on their home court, in a playoff series.
In Game 5, in particular, the Cavs came out of the gate guns blazing. After one quarter of play, Cleveland held a commanding 16-point lead, as they scored a franchise postseason record 43 points in the first 12 minutes.
Things got worse from there for Boston, as the Cavs added another 32 points in the second quarter to take a 75-57 lead into the half.
Cleveland's dominant start was thanks in large part to their superstar's elite play. Over the first two quarters of the game, Lebron James almost dropped a triple double, scoring 20 points, snagging seven rebounds and dishing out seven assists.
The Cavaliers continued to coast through the third quarter, with James reaching a major playoff milestone of his own. Midway through the quarter, James surpassed Michael Jordan as the league's all-time lead in playoff scoring.
By the end of the game, both teams had emptied their benches waiting for the clock to hit double zeroes.
For Cleveland, they now advance to their third straight NBA Finals appearance, with all of them coming against the Golden State Warriors. This battle will work as the rubber match in the three year set, as each team has won one series.
For Boston, the loss ends their strong season in a rather unceremonious way. Though they suffered three home defeats by an average of 30 points per game in the series, they did manage to steal a game on the road and held a double digit lead in their second road game, before Cleveland stormed back.
This season must be viewed in a positive light by Celtics Nation, as the team finished the regular season with the best record in the Eastern Conference and advanced past the first round of the postseason for the first time under head coach Brad Stevens.
So, while things ended on an ultimate low note for the C's, there are definitely headed in the right direction and look to have a bright future on their hands.
The only problem for them is that James, who is now heading to his seventh straight NBA Finals appearance after his 35-point performance, is still going to be standing in their way for the foreseeable future.